Some couples believe in a higher power but don’t feel comfortable with all the rites of a particular religion. Some come from different religious backgrounds or cultures or are prevented from marrying within a faith by sexual preference or prior divorce. Or perhaps their beliefs don’t conform to those of a single religion.
For these couples, what may feel right is a very personal, spiritual wedding ceremony that isn’t linked to a single religion. They often write their own vows, and some of them write their entire ceremony and include their own spiritual beliefs. If this is the case for you, a New Age minister or an ordained friend can work well as an officiant, but there are also some religious organizations you can turn to.
A pluralistic religion with Judeo-Christian roots, Unitarian Universalism doesn’t have prescribed rituals and rules, which allows couples to work with a minister to design a ceremony that fits their beliefs and personalities. The ceremony can be in a church or a secular space, the service can be short or long, the couple can be of the same faith or hold different beliefs. You can take inspiration from whatever source you like, divine or otherwise, and you don’t need to belong to a Unitarian church to be married by a Unitarian Minister.
HUMANISM AND ETHICAL CULTURE
The American Humanist Association, more akin to a philosophy than a religion, has celebrants who are authorized to perform weddings. Among other things, humanists believe in equality, and the vows reflect that.
A civil ceremony is presided over by legal official rather than a religious official. The classic civil wedding takes place at City Hall, but it can take place just about anywhere, as long as you find an official who is willing to travel. Civil ceremonies in the US are usually based on the Episcopalian faith.